Qatar Air says Boeing will compensate it for 787 grounding

DUBAI Wed May 1, 2013 9:16am EDT

DUBAI May 1 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways said it would receive compensation from Boeing for the grounding of its 787 Dreamliners, as it returned the aircraft to service for the first time in three months.

"We will get compensation because we took airplanes we couldnt fly. Boeing understands that," Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said before boarding the first flight from Dubai to Qatar's capital Doha, accompanied by reporters.

Al Baker criticized the decision by regulators to ground the aircraft in January following two battery incidents, a move which he described as an over-reaction fed by social media coverage of the evacuation of a Japanese 787.

He added the grounding had had a severe impact on the airline's expansion plans. "We were planning 15 new routes and now we have to settle for 10," he said.

Turning to Boeing's plans to revamp its best-selling long-haul aircraft, the 777, Al Baker said Qatar Airways would be "very interested" in both models being presented to airlines when the project, dubbed "777X," was officially launched.

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